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Article

Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

(b Kishorganj, East Pakistan [now Bangladesh], Nov 18, 1914; d Dhaka, May 28, 1976).

Bangladeshi painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Government School of Art in Calcutta from 1933 to 1938, and then taught there until 1947. His work first attracted public attention in 1943 when he produced a powerful series of drawings of the Bengal famine. After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 he worked as chief designer in the Pakistan government’s Information and Publications Division, and also became principal of the Institute of Fine Arts in Dhaka (later known as the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts), which he helped to found in 1948 and where he remained until 1967. From 1951 to 1952 he visited Europe and, in addition to exhibiting his work at several locations, worked at the Slade School of Art in London, and represented Pakistan at the UNESCO art conference in Venice in 1952. An exhibition of his work in Lahore in 1953 became the starting-point for a series of ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Delhi, India, Feb 4, 1941; d Lahore, Pakistan, Jan 18, 1999).

Pakistani painter, sculptor and printmaker. Educated in Pakistan and abroad, he has consciously and successfully synthesized Eastern and Western aesthetic traditions. In 1963, a year after graduating from the National College of Arts, Lahore, he joined the faculty as a lecturer in art, later becoming a professor and head of the Department of Fine Arts. His studies abroad have included post-graduate work in London (1966–7, 1968–9) and the United States (1987–9).

Like many of his colleagues, Zahoor was influenced by his mentor, Shakir ‛Ali, principal of the National College of Art from 1961 to 1975. Both artists were motivated by art history, philosophy and aesthetics. Zahoor’s non-figurative paintings of the 1960s evolved into tangible—though not always realistic—images addressing the dualities of space and time, East and West. Most of his triptychs and single canvases were conceived within a grid that provides a stabilizing structure for their compositions. This grid refers to Zahoor’s admiration for the American artist ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Wazirabad, 1895; d Lahore, 1978).

Pakistani painter and etcher. Apprenticed at age five to Master Abdulla, a Mughal miniature artist of Lahore, by age fourteen Bux had become an accomplished signboard painter. He worked as a carriage painter for Mughalpura Railway and as a scene painter for Agha Hasher Kashmiri’s theatrical company. In 1914 he went to Bombay, where he was employed as a photographer, retouch artist and portrait and landscape painter at the Bombay Art Studio. After returning to Lahore in 1919, he became a fine art painter who supported himself as a commercial artist.

Bux was known as the ‘Krishna painter’, after one of his favourite themes, and until 1947 was readily patronized by the Hindu community of Lahore. Panoramic fantasies filled with earthly and floating figures and brightly coloured realistic or abstract landscapes recall Maxfield Parrish, Gustave Moreau and the Symbolists. Bux had access to Western originals in the collection of Bhupindra Singh, ruler of Patiala, for whom he worked part-time for several years....

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Lahore, 21 Sept ?1894; d Lahore, Jan 17, 1975).

Pakistani painter, etcher and engraver. Though he was self-taught, his early style is indistinguishable from that of the Bengal School (see Calcutta, §3). He may have been influenced by the Calcutta-trained painter Samenendranath Gupta, who was a teacher and vice-principal at the Mayo School of Arts during Chughtai’s years there in the early 1920s as a drawing master in the photolithography department.

Like the Bengal School artists, Chughtai painted exclusively in watercolour and illustrated Hindu and Buddhist myths and Indian genre scenes. Unlike them, however, he also painted scenes from Islamic history and literature and Punjabi legends. By the 1940s he had evolved a highly personal style that reflected his interest in Persian, Mughal and Rajput painting as well as Japanese woodcuts and European painting, particularly Art Nouveau.

A skilled draughtsman with an innate sense of colour and design, Chughtai often gave an amusing twist to his large watercolours. He was an accomplished etcher and engraver, having studied these arts in London during two visits in ...

Article

Anis Farooqi

(b Jhelum, West Punjab [now in Pakistan], Dec 25, 1925).

Indian painter, sculptor, printmaker and architect. Totally deaf from the age of 13, he studied painting at the Mayo School of Art, Lahore, from 1939 to 1944, and then at the Sir Jamshetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art, Bombay, from 1944 to 1947. After independence and the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, he pursued his artistic career in India and for several years expressed in his work the anguish of the partition. From 1952 to 1954 he studied at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, and from 1953 to 1954 worked under David Alfaro Siqueiros on murals in University City, MI. He was also influenced by the work of the Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco, especially by his use of large forms and his treatment of human anatomy. In his paintings of this period, such as Despair (1954; oil, 0.9×0.9 m; New Delhi, N.G. Mod. A.) and ...

Article

Atteqa Ali

(b Aligarh, India, 1937).

Printmaker of Indian birth. Zarina, known professionally by her first name only, received a BSc from Aligarh’s Muslim University in 1958. She worked at Atelier 17 in Paris from 1964 to 1967 and studied woodblock printing in Tokyo. With her works she opens up discussions of dislocation, exile, partition and migration. These loaded topics are handled in lighter ways; her black-and-white pictures do not burden viewers with a lot of visual information. Instead, her imagery relies on the extended meanings of lines and shapes: borders, separation and units, among other things. Her semi-abstract, minimal style does not have the cool formalism that one might associate with the Minimalist movement. Perhaps because she often utilizes the woodblock technique, she softens hard edges and customizes the style to her needs. Her subject matter is, likewise, a personalized interpretation of larger concerns.

Zarina has traversed many boundaries in her life, and much of her oeuvre is about her personal journeys that are both actual and conceptual. She has lived in several places including India, Paris and New York and considers home to be an idea more than a physical structure. In her mind, home is a transitory site that moves along with you. Yet, she made a portfolio of prints, ...

Article

Hans Ebbink

(b Sabang, Dutch East Indies [now Indonesia], Feb 9, 1924; d Den Ils, Netherlands, April 9, 2005).

Dutch printmaker and painter. His experience in a Nazi concentration camp in 1943, where he nearly died, marked his work. In 1951, after a voluntary stay in a mental hospital, he decided to devote himself to a life as an artist. After 1961 Heyboer lived in an isolated community in a barn at Den Ilp, north of Amsterdam, which he shared with three women. His images from the early 1950s, almost exclusively etchings, show ships in Ijmuiden port and his shabby living dwellings. The first etchings reflecting his mental condition also date from this period. In Awareness of the Wound (1954; The Hague, Gemeentemus.) he depicted himself as a simplified Man of Sorrows, wearing a crown of thorns and displaying his stigma, a bleeding heart. In the same year Heyboer recorded crucial moments of his life in works such as Defence of Immature Things, which consists of a large number of sheets of paper bearing definitions of ‘being’, ‘conscience’, ‘suffering’, ‘innocence’ and related concepts. Heyboer’s source of reference was Christian symbolism. To express the relationship with his fellow men he used the cross as the symbol of suffering. In ...

Article

R. Siva Kumar

(b Chittagong, April 13, 1921).

Indian printmaker, sculptor and painter. He began with visual reporting of the 1943 Bengal famine for the Communist Party organ Jannayuddha (People’s War); he was also associated with the 1946 peasant unrest. Later, at the Calcutta Art School, he mastered traditional printmaking media. He devoted himself seriously to printmaking in the 1950s, developing viscosity printing independently in ...

Article

Anis Farooqi

(b Pandharpur, Maharashtra, Sept 17, 1915).

Indian painter, printmaker, photographer and film maker. He grew up in Indore, where his family moved in the year of his birth. After studying at the School of Art in Indore for one year he moved to Bombay in 1937 and worked as a painter of cinema hoardings and, from 1941, as a designer of toys and children’s nursery furniture. The same year Amrita Sher-Gil and George Keyt exhibited their works in Bombay, inspiring Husain to dedicate his life to this creative field. In 1946 Francis Newton Souza invited him to join his Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group. Husain’s paintings first attracted notice in Bombay in 1947, when he won an award at the annual exhibition of the Bombay Art Society. He visited Delhi, where he encountered ancient Mathura sculpture and Indian miniature paintings. This was a crucial period in his development as an artist as he assimilated ideas from Western and Indian art. In ...

Article

Van Lau  

Mayching Kao

[Wen Lou]

(b Xinhui County, Guangdong Province, Sept 15, 1933).

Chinese sculptor and printmaker, active in Hong Kong. Van moved with his family to Vietnam in 1935 and studied architecture and fine arts in Taiwan from 1953 to 1958; in 1960 he settled in Hong Kong. He became an influential figure in the local arts scene, not only assuming a leading role as a sculptor of the modern school, but also active in arts administration, publishing, design, education and politics. In the 1960s, inspired by contemporary international movements, Van experimented in different styles and media. He subsequently returned to his native tradition for imagery and aesthetic concepts, though retaining a Western approach in formal organization. Thereafter, his focus has been metal sculpture in geometric formations suggesting vitality and organic growth. His fascination with movement, particularly flight, inspired his Space Form (Hong Kong, Space Mus.), completed in 1980, followed by numerous public commissions.

Wen Lou/The Art of Van Lau (exh. cat., intro. ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Singapore, Feb 16, 1936; d London, Oct 23, 1997).

British sculptor and printmaker of Chinese birth. She grew up in Singapore and at the age of 18 decided to go to London to study at Saint Martin’s School of Art (1954–6) where she took a particular interest in wood-carving; she then transferred to the Slade School of Art, where she concentrated on printmaking, graduating in 1960. Whilst at college she often travelled through Asia and Europe en route back to Singapore, with Indian and South-East Asian sculpture and spirituality making a great impact on her work. An early sculpture, King, Queen, Pawn (1959; see 1999 exh. cat., pp. 12), consists of three simply shaped wooden blocks, with sections blowtorched to give a variation of colour. Whilst Lim always acknowledged a debt to the work of Constantin Brancusi in her simplification and abstraction of forms, it is in her concern for the specific qualties of materials, as in her use of charred wood to create contrast, that the influence of Eastern spirituality and concepts of balance can be seen. In ...

Article

Anis Farooqi

(b Karachi [now in Pakistan], Feb 19, 1946).

Indian painter and printmaker. She studied painting at the Sir Jamshetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art, Bombay, in 1964–9; she also worked in a studio at the Bhulabhai Memorial Institute, Bombay, between 1964 and 1967 with other painters, including performing artists. On a French Government scholarship she studied in Paris in 1970–72 (producing e.g. Painting No. 16, oil on canvas, 1.16×1.16 m, New Delhi, N.G. Mod. A.) and participated in international exhibitions and international festivals of arts in Tokyo, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Oxford and several cities in Germany. Her work can be categorized as the portrayal of Social Realism: interpreting the life of Indian middle-class families, their surroundings and activities with an illustrative configuration and expressionistic overtones imbued with naivety.

J. Berger: Art and Revolution (New York, 1969) G. Kapur: Nalini Malani (New Delhi, 1982) Nalini Malani (exh. cat. by A. Sinha, Bombay, Pundole Gal., 1984) Voiceovers: 5th Guinness Contemporary Art Project (exh. cat. by ...

Article

Pandit Chanrochanakit

(b Trad, July 26, 1957).

Thai printmaker, installation artist, teacher and writer . Rasdjarmrearnsook studied at Silpakorn University, Bangkok, receiving her BFA in 1981 and her MFA 1986. In 1988 she went to Germany where she received an MFA from the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Brunswick in 1990. Rasdjarmrearnsook’s early prints reflected melancholic poetries of childhood and her memories of being an Asian woman (see 1992 exh. cat.). Her works focused on illness and the death of members of her family, who had been the subjects of her early prints in the 1990s. When she moved to three-dimensional installations in the early 1990s, she started using sculptures of human body parts contextualized with poetry, to narrate stories. In The Lovers (1993), she rendered three classic Thai poems in leather and placed them on black chairs with three plaster torsos overlooking them (see 1994 exh. cat.). The idea of using body parts in her works could be traced back to her ...

Article

Anis Farooqi

(b Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, July 15, 1925).

Indian printmaker and sculptor. He studied at Vishva-Bharati University, Shantiniketan, West Bengal, from 1941 to 1946, receiving a diploma in Fine Art, and from 1947 to 1950 was head of the art section at Kalakshetra, Madras. From 1951 to 1952 he continued his studies at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, University of London, then studied sculpture under Ossip Zadkine and Marino Marini in Milan and engraving under Stanley William Hayter in Paris. In later years he worked under Hayter in Paris as Associate Director of the printmaking studio Atelier 17. During the 1950s the quality of Reddy’s work began to be recognized at a number of individual and group exhibitions. He also began to teach more widely: at the American University, Washington, DC (1964); Stout, University of Wisconsin, Menomonie, WI (1968–9); University of California, Davis and Los Angeles (1970–71); University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI (...

Article

Susan Pares

[ Yun Myŏng-no ]

(b 1936).

Korean painter, printmaker and teacher . He graduated in 1960 from the College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University, and studied in 1969–70 in New York. He has exhibited in Korea, East, South and South-east Asia, North and South America, Western and Eastern Europe and New Zealand. Paintings in the Art informel style in the late 1950s–early 1960s were succeeded by his Ruler series of prints. Youn was an early experimenter in modern printmaking in Korea. His Cracks series, initiated in the mid-1970s, examined the effect of cracking on the surface of generally white pigment. In the Ollejit series of the 1980s drawing on childhood memories of simple objects, the surface is covered repeatedly with short, deliberate strokes. The After Ollejit and Anonymous Land series of paintings of the 1990s convey more violent feeling, expressed through strong brushstrokes, heavy colours and thickly applied paint. Youn works in acrylic, oil colour and oil stick, and in India ink on wood, cotton and canvas. He also produces lithographs and ceramic tiles....

Article

Salima Hashmi

(b Simla, India, 1929; d Stafford, England, Jan 18, 1985).

Pakistani painter, printmaker, writer and teacher, active in England. He was born into a Kashmiri family of carpetmakers and grew up in Lahore. He received a diploma in fine arts in 1947 from the Mayo School of Arts, Lahore, and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1959–60). He was active in the literary circles of Lahore as a poet and short-story writer throughout the 1950s. Although trained in traditional miniature techniques, calligraphy and formal tessellated pattern making, in his early work he propagated a modernist, iconoclastic approach to painting, creating cubistic cityscapes and still-lifes in oil on canvas. Strongly influenced by Paul Klee, Shemza later drew on Arabic and Persian calligraphy in strongly linear works. In his ink-and-watercolour Untitled Drawing (1959; Lahore, A. Council Col.) the structure is geometric yet the forms remain fluid and rhythmic. He participated in the International Print Biennial, Tokyo (...

Article

Pandit Chanrochanakit

(b Nakornsawan, Oct 7, 1957).

Thai performance artist, printmaker, anti-war activist, musician, writer and poet . Sitthiket graduated from the College of Fine Arts, Bangkok in 1981. Sitthiket’s work focused on alienation and social issues, such as the decaying political system, the environment, prostitution, migration and poverty. He was most recognised for his exhibition Inferno (1991), in which he was inspired by Traiphum phra ruang, the ancient Buddhist text, portraying images of how sinners would be punished according to their sins in hell. Instead of depicting traditional Buddhist sin and hell, he appropriated sinful acts and redemption for modern Thai society. For instance, in The Punishment of Those Corrupted Politicians Whose Flesh Would Be Cut in Pieces, Being Fried and Fed Him Until His Death. In In Hell, the Bad Politician Will Be Reborn to Consume Himself Forever, Sitthiket employed bold colour, simplified his use of line and employed crude and iconographic figures in association with narrative text to emphasize the modern sins committed by professionals, such as soldiers, teachers and artists....

Article

Robert L. Hardgrave jr

(b Antwerp, July 6, 1760; d Antwerp, Oct 10, 1824).

Flemish printmaker and painter. He pursued his early career in Europe as a marine painter, but political unrest and his own insecure position led him to seek his fortune in India. Residing in Calcutta from 1791 to 1804, Solvyns undertook the work for which he is best known, A Collection of Two Hundred and Fifty Coloured Etchings Descriptive of the Manners, Customs and Dresses of the Hindoos. After a limited printing in 1796, the collection was published by Solvyns in Calcutta in 1799 in 12 parts. The first of these, comprising 66 prints, depicts ‘the Hindoo Castes with their respective professions’, while the following sections portray servants, religious mendicants, forms of transportation, modes of smoking, musical instruments, and festivals. Solvyns approached his task as an ethnographer but, lacking the appeal of the picturesque which was then in vogue, the project proved a financial failure. On his return to Europe, Solvyns prepared new etchings from his drawings and produced a folio edition of 288 plates, ...